Archive: Health Care, Hospitals

Culmore Center Expands Programs

The Culmore Family Resource Center near Seven Corners and Bailey's Crossroads, long a place were members of the area's immigrant community have sought information and support, is expanding its services by opening a health center and offering literacy classes for Spanish speakers. Read more in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | March 13, 2008; 03:19 PM ET | Email a Comment

Local Patients Find Independence in Program for Mentally Ill

This week's Fairfax Extra features this story about the state-funded Program of Assertive Community Treatment which helps severely mentally ill people live independently while being kept under daily supervision. One Fairfax County health official describes the program, which was pioneered in Wisconsin three decades ago, as one in which the patient is "the center of the treatment."...

 

By Focus on Fairfax | February 29, 2008; 11:16 AM ET | Email a Comment

County Considers Pooling to Pay Retirement Benefits

Facing the prospect of big payouts to future and current retirees, the county government is looking at creating an investment pool with other Virginia local governments to save money. Read the article in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | February 8, 2008; 12:16 PM ET | Email a Comment

Fort Hunt Group Works to Help Seniors at Home

Today's Fairfax Extra cover story highlights the work of Mount Vernon at Home, a neighborhood group of volunteers that works to provide senior citizens with the resources the need to keep living independently....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | November 29, 2007; 11:16 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 11/5: Va. Launches Investigation After Woman Kills Boyfriend an Hour After Leaving Mental Facility

Updated 11/5 The news about the investigation was in Saturday's Metro section. Originally posted 10/24 "Why did they let that lady out of the hospital?" asked Lolitla Richardson whose former husband was stabbed to death by his girlfriend hour after she left the Woodburn Mental Health Clinic in Annandale where she had agreed to go following an domestic dispute with him. Some are saying the story is the latest illustration of problems with Virginia' mental health system. Learn more in this story from today's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | November 5, 2007; 09:55 AM ET | Email a Comment

County Steps up Home Care Support Services for Seniors

More and more people here are choosing to bring their aging parents and relatives to live with them. To help them deal with the challenges of caregiving, Fairfax County has put more resources into providing support. Today's Fairfax Extra has the story....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | October 11, 2007; 12:12 PM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax Schools Knew of, Treated Cho's Disorder

According to this article from today's front page, educators from Fairfax County Public Schools had recognized and responded to Virginia Tech shooter Seung Hui Cho's anxiety disorder while he was a student here, but were forbidden by privacy laws from passing that information on to the University. Only his parent or Cho himself could have let University officials know about his problem....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | August 27, 2007; 10:55 AM ET | Email a Comment

Religious Congregations Plan For Possible Pandemic

Scores of local religious leaders met recently at the Fairfax County Government Center to beginning planning how they and their churches, synagogues, temples and mosques would be able to help the community at large were a major flu pandemic to strike the United States. Read about how they would help to manage the crisis in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | June 7, 2007; 11:09 AM ET | Email a Comment

Falls Church Teen Looking Out For Wounded Soldiers

Ian S. Wilson, 13, of Falls Church, was outraged when reports of substandard care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center emerged earlier this year. Wilson, whose brother Gordon Hamm is serving in Iraq, focused his anger and made a prize-winning documentary film about the subject. Today's Military Matters column tells the tale....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | May 17, 2007; 02:47 PM ET | Email a Comment

Immigration and Overcrowded Houses

This front page article in yesterday's paper on neighborhood disputes over overcrowded houses in Fairfax County has spawned a spirited discussion with people from Fairfax, the Washington region and elsewhere in the country, joining in by posting comments about the problem. Focus on Fairfax invites readers to continue the discussion here....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | May 14, 2007; 10:53 AM ET | Email a Comment

Oh, Deer!

The explosive growth of the local population of whitetail deer (as many as 400 per square mile in some parts of the county) have health officials concerned about Lyme disease, transmitted by deer ticks, which also is a growing problem. The increasing number of deer has become more than a mere nuisance characterized by having your azaleas eaten or having the animals become an occasional traffic hazard. The story was in yesterday's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | March 26, 2007; 12:13 PM ET | Email a Comment

Inova Fairfax To Pay Private Docs To Treat Poor

Private urologists working out of Inova Fairfax Hospital will be paid to provide on-call treatment of poor patients. The announcement for hospital officials comes after the doctors had threatened to stop responding to on call care with out compensation. The news is in today's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | February 12, 2007; 10:44 AM ET | Email a Comment

Virus Infects 100 at Dulles Hotel

The Fairfax County Health Department has confirmed that about 100 employees and guests at a Hilton hotel near Dulles airport have become ill with the highly contagious norovirus which causes vomiting, nausea and diarrhea. Today's Metro section has the news....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | January 19, 2007; 09:36 AM ET | Email a Comment

Inova Fairfax Discontinues Liver Transplant Program

Citing a steep and steady decline in the number of the operations performed at the hospital as the reason for the change, staff began notifying the 59 patients on its waiting list that they would need to transfer to transplant programs at other hospitals. Here is the Metro section article....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | December 12, 2006; 10:02 AM ET | Email a Comment

A Better Way to Evaluate Mentally Ill?

In response to a shortage of independent mental health professionals in Fairfax County, the Virginia Association of Community Services Boards is pushing for a law that would decrease the complexity of the legal proceedings by which mentally ill people can be involuntarily hospitalized. Today's Fairfax Extra has the story....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | November 30, 2006; 12:45 PM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 12/1: County Relents On Churches' Food Service To Homeless

Updated 12/1 Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerry Connolly (D) blamed overzealous county employees for the policy to restrict church charitable food service to the homeless when he announced yesterday that county government would not interfere with the work. The news is here. Originally posted 11/29 Unless they are prepared in kitchens that meet the same tough health code requirements for restaurants, meals provided by church homeless shelters are forbidden, say county officials. A front page article from today's Washington Post is here. What's your opinion? Some community leaders say that to most homeless people, the chance for a hot, home-cooked meal would outweigh any consideration of the slight chance of contracting a food-borne illness. Should the county be getting into this? UPDATE: This afternoon the county released the following statement in response to the Washington Post's front page story. Fairfax County Response to Misinformation About Feeding the Homeless...

 

By Focus on Fairfax | November 29, 2006; 10:36 AM ET | Email a Comment

Care For Mentally Ill Is Hard To Find

Updated 11/20 This article from yesterday's Metro section reveals that, while there is still a long way to go in reducing the caseload for therapists, for now the waiting list of those low-income adults seeking treatment has been eliminated. Updated 7/18 According to this story in today's Metro section, the number of low-income adults in Fairfax County waiting to be seen by a mental health professional has nearly doubled in the last three months. Originally posted 5/30 Several violent crimes by people with histories of mental illness--including the shooting deaths of two Fairfax County police officers--prompts questions about why these individuals were not in treatment. According to this article, mental health officials say that getting some potentially violent people much needed care is increasingly difficult....

 

By | November 20, 2006; 02:45 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 11/6: Aggressive Lobbying Underway for Mentally Disabled

Updated 11/6 This article from today's paper illustrates the severity of the shortage of care for the mentally ill in our community. Originally posted 10/19 Advocates for those with mental disbilites are making push for Richmond lawmakers to step up and help with more money for locally-administered programs. The story is in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | November 6, 2006; 08:15 AM ET | Email a Comment

Va. Chief Justice Starts Mental Health Care Reform Effort

Leroy R. Hassell Sr., the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia said he wants to reform the policies that govern how the state cares for its mentally ill citizens. The story is in today's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | October 11, 2006; 10:07 AM ET | Email a Comment

Nearly 700 Fairfax Deaths Possible in Worst-Case Flu Scenario

Fairfax County's government is the first in the local area to issue a comprehensive report on preparations for a pandemic flu outbreak. The Washington Post story is here....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | September 18, 2006; 10:10 AM ET | Email a Comment

The Buzz on Fairfax County's Mosquito Expert

Entomologist Jorge Arias of the Fairfax County Health Department makes controlling the tiny bloodsuckers his mission. Read about Arias and his work to keep your backyards free of the bugs here....

 

By | August 2, 2006; 10:37 AM ET | Email a Comment

Tips To Beat The Heat

Fairfax County is offering these tips to stay cool as the area faces a heat emergency over the next few days....

 

By | August 1, 2006; 10:48 AM ET | Email a Comment

Flu Pandemic Funds: Largely to Local Awareness

Northern Virginia jurisdictions last month began receiving federal dollars aimed at preparing for a potential influenza outbreak. According to this article from the Fairfax Extra, most of the money is going to public education programs....

 

By | July 13, 2006; 10:10 AM ET | Email a Comment

West Nile Virus Shows Up in County

A mosquito pool in the county has tested positive for West Nile virus, the first such positive test in Virginia this year, county health officials said yesterday. So far this year, health department workers have tested more than 31,000 mosquitos looking for West Nile and similar viruses, and treated more than 30,000 storm drains, which can become breeding areas, with lavicide that inhibits breeding. More treatments are scheduled throughout the mosquito season, which usually runs from May to October. Meanwhile, the Health Department recommends that residents take measures to reduce exposure to mosquitos. These include using insect repellants containing the active ingrediate DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon or eucalyptus when outdoors, turning over or removing yard containers and other recepticles of standing water. For more information on West Nile virus, residents may visit Fairfax County's "Fight the Bite" Web page at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fightthebite or call the Health Department at...

 

By | July 3, 2006; 11:28 AM ET | Email a Comment

Aftermath of Flooding Includes Mold, Mildew and Fungi

Today's Fairfax Extra reports County tips on how to rid homes of mold after the floodwaters. The tip sheet includes avoiding use of heating units in closed areas because that can contribute to the spread of mold spores....

 

By | June 29, 2006; 11:51 AM ET | Email a Comment

Dental Care Options Scarce for Homeless

For some of the nearly 2,000 homeless people living in Fairfax County, the lack of opportunities for dental care is a painful reality. The story was in today's Metro section....

 

By | June 12, 2006; 11:16 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fisher Columnizes on Parenting, Mental Illness

What if any culpability do the parents of Michael W. Kennedy have in the deaths of two Fairfax County police officers who died last month when Kennedy opened fire on a police station in Chantilly? In an opinion column this weekend, Marc Fisher wrote about the challenges that parents face finding help for mentally ill adult children who have not exhibited any overtly threatening behaviors....

 

By | June 5, 2006; 12:08 PM ET | Email a Comment

County Forms Committee on Aging

According to this Fairfax Extra article a new committee formed by the county Board of Supervisors is examining the ways that the government may be able to help with the problems that are likely to come as a higher percentage of citizens begin to reach retirement age....

 

By | June 1, 2006; 11:43 AM ET | Email a Comment

Student Hospitalized With Meningitis

From today's Metro section: A student at Madison High School in Vienna has been hospitalized with bacterial meningococcal meningitis, Fairfax school officials said yesterday. Principal Mark Merrell said the school sent a letter to parents Tuesday notifying them of the ill student and suggesting that they watch for certain symptoms in their children. Merrell declined to disclose other details about the ill student, but said the disease is "not highly contagious." Symptoms, which can be fatal, include severe headache, high fever, a stiff neck, nausea and vomiting or a rash. -- Allan Lengel...

 

By | May 18, 2006; 09:42 AM ET | Email a Comment

Mixed-Income Senior Housing in Falls Church

The project, the first in its kind in Fairfax County, had drawn criticism from some people who objected to subsidized housing in their neighborhood. According to this Fairfax Extra article, the controversy illustrates the difficulty in meeting the increasing demand for affordable housing for our aging citizens....

 

By | May 11, 2006; 12:40 PM ET | Email a Comment

No Free Rides for Seniors and Disabled?

Yellow Cab, a subsidiary of the Red Top Cab Co. of Arlington will no longer offer free rides to senior and disabled citizens because of a pay dispute with MV Transportation, which operates the MetroAccess service that reimburses the cab company. The story is here....

 

By | May 8, 2006; 09:55 AM ET | Email a Comment

Heard the Buzz? It's Headed for Your Backyard

Entomologists are warning that the Asian tiger mosquito, a plague to our area since it showed up here in the late 1980s, may be out in swarms within two weeks. Read about the nasty little beasties and what you can do to help reduce them in your neighborhood, here....

 

By | May 2, 2006; 10:18 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax: The 2006 Guide

An Introduction To The Guide Trying to make sense of Fairfax? Join our club. To help newcomers learn and old-timers discover new possibilities, here's The Guide for 2006. We know how easy it is to get confused here, because there are about a million people -- more people than seven states have -- and trying to make sense of the governing machinery can be tricky. The local governments include those of the county and two cities, the City of Fairfax and the City of Falls Church, each with its own idiosyncrasies and treasures. What you'll find in these pages is our attempt to lead you to old favorites you had not thought of for a while or to what might become favorites. There's golfing and fishing and biking and walking, just to name a few leisure pursuits. If you have students in the family, there's a place within the county...

 

By | April 28, 2006; 09:51 AM ET | Email a Comment

Meeting Tonight to Address Flu Preparedness

Updated 4/20 Flu Plan to Be Ready by Summer Fairfax County officials said at a meeting last night that the county's response plan for possible pandemic flu should be ready by this summer as a supplement to the county emergency plan. They spoke to about 200 people at a town hall session called to hear about preparedness for a possible outbreak. Officials said they were putting together a plan that will address public health, vital infrastructure and resource management. -- Leef Smith Originally posted 4/19 From today's Metro section: Fairfax County officials will host a public meeting tonight to discuss pandemic flu and the development of the county's readiness plan. The meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. in the board auditorium of the Government Center at 12000 Government Center Pkwy., will feature a panel of experts, including Fairfax Health Director Gloria Addo-Ayensu and Virginia Department of Health veterinary epidemiologist Julia Murphy....

 

By | April 18, 2006; 10:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

County's Poor Wait Months, Years for Help

According to the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board, getting hooked up with a therapist can take as long as six months and it may take years to get a spot in a group home. Staff shortages and voluminous caseloads are the cause, officials say. The story is on the front page of this morning's Washington Post....

 

By | March 17, 2006; 10:23 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax Middle Schoolers Watch Heart Surgery

About 3,000 eighth-graders take a field trip each year to witness heart surgery at Inova Fairfax Hospital's heart institute. An account of one such excursion was in the is morning's Style section....

 

By | February 21, 2006; 11:17 AM ET | Email a Comment

Please Read: Rules Issued for Commenting on Fairfax Focus Blog

Some readers of this blog have recently raised questions about the role of The Washington Post in policing Fairfax Focus. I have deleted a few blog posts because they did not meet The Post's standards for fairness. For more clarity about how to play by the rules, Jim Brady, the executive editor of washingtonpost.com has posted a message explaining the rules for readers participating in the site's Live Online discussions, discussion forums and for posting comments on the company's blogs. The complete list of rules is here. --Steve Fehr, Fairfax Extra Editor...

 

By | February 17, 2006; 01:06 PM ET | Email a Comment

Discussion to Cover Senior Citizens Issues

Supervisor Linda Q. Smyth (D-Providence) and the Mantua Civic Association are sponsoring a meeting on issues involving senior citizens, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Feb. 25. The meeting will include a series of panels on topics such as transportation, affordable housing, Medicare and community-based senior services. The meeting is at Mantua Elementary School, 9107 Horner Ct., Fairfax. For more information, call 703-560-6946....

 

By | February 13, 2006; 02:54 AM ET | Email a Comment

Support Center Run by Mentally Ill Opens

Fairfax County opened a drop-in center for the mentally ill yesterday in Reston that is run by the mentally ill themselves. The center offers support, job and advocacy training as well as a chance to socialize, officials said. var technorati = new Technorati() ; technorati.setProperty('url','http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/09/AR2006020902082_Technorati.html') ; technorati.article = new item('Metro','http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/09/AR2006020902082.html','Health care workers conducted an exercise yesterday involving a scenario in which an explosion and a toxic chemical release occurred on the Mall. In the drill, security personnel also practiced crowd control procedures.','') ; document.write( technorati.getDisplaySidebar() ); Rather than providing clinical services, it is designed to offer a supportive environment for people with mental illness. The center, at 1820 Michael Faraday Dr., is open to anyone older than 18....

 

By | February 10, 2006; 07:23 AM ET | Email a Comment

Programs To Combat Lyme Disease, West Nile

From today's Fairfax Extra: The county Board of Supervisors has approved this year's program to control the West Nile virus and Lyme disease. The program includes the spraying of larvicide in mosquito breeding areas such as storm-water catch basins in May through October. County officials also will conduct a community outreach and education program to increase awareness of West Nile virus. Part of the program involves monitoring and documenting the number of human infections. There were no human cases in Fairfax last year, but between 2002 and 2004, there were 17 cases and two deaths. The Lyme disease effort centers on surveillance of ticks, which carry the disease....

 

By | January 26, 2006; 11:28 AM ET | Email a Comment

Study Supports Later Start Times For High Schoolers

Update 1/26/06: A cover story in today's Fairfax Extra tackles the subject of later school start times. Originally posted 1/10/06: Arguments for and against later school start times were posted by Focus on Fairfax readers in this space a few months back. Now a new study is coming down firmly on the "for" side. Read about it here....

 

By | January 26, 2006; 11:11 AM ET | Email a Comment

Why High School Athletes Shouldn't Share Water Bottles

In today's Voices of Fairfax column, Oakton mother Barbara Roberts relates her personal tale; she suspects her son Wesley got mononucleosis from sharing a water bottle at football practice....

 

By | January 12, 2006; 02:31 PM ET | Email a Comment

Connolly Proposes Mobile Health Clinics For Homeless

The Board of Supervisors Chairman has directed County Executive Anthony H. Griffin to come up with a plan to address the health care concerns of the county's homeless population, which is expected to increase this year. An article with the details of the proposal in in today's Metro section....

 

By | January 10, 2006; 11:03 AM ET | Email a Comment

When It's 'Just Impossible' To Throw Anything Away

Todays' Fairfax Extra cover story took a close look at hoarding behavior. There 60 to 90 cases reported in the county each year....

 

By | December 8, 2005; 10:53 AM ET | Email a Comment

Men Are Nurses Too

The image of nursing as a profession suited mostly to women is in need of a "macho makeover" said James A. Metcalf, a health sciences professor at George Mason University in his guest column in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By | November 17, 2005; 12:15 PM ET | Email a Comment

Expanded ER Opens At Inova Fairfax Hospital

Today's Fairfax Extra cover story details the opening of the expanded emergency facilites at Inova Fairfax Hospital....

 

By | November 17, 2005; 11:58 AM ET | Email a Comment

Moran To Host Medicare Town Meeting Thursday

U.S. Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.) will hold a town meeting Thursday to discuss the new Medicare prescription drug benefit. The meeting is from 9:30 a.m. to noon at the James Lee Community Center. Representatives from the Fairfax County Agency on Aging and the Social Security Administration will present the information. The community center is at 2855 Annandale Rd. in the Falls Church area....

 

By Steve Fehr | November 14, 2005; 02:29 PM ET | Email a Comment

Party for Life Fundraiser To Help Prevent Suicide

From today's Fairfax Extra: The annual Party for Life fundraiser for suicide prevention is scheduled for 6 p.m. Nov. 16 at the Clarendon Grill in Arlington. Founded in 2002 by two Northern Virginia friends who lost their fathers to suicide, Party for Life has raised more than $70,000 for suicide prevention and mental health awareness programs. All proceeds benefit Active Minds, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, CrisisLink and the National Mental Health Association's "mpower" program. The grill is at 1101 N. Highland St. Tickets are $45 in advance ($50 at the door) and include two drinks, appetizers, a raffle ticket and entertainment from the rock band Gonzo's Nose. For more information or to register, visit http://www.partyforlife.com . I wrote a detailed article about Party For Life last year....

 

By | November 13, 2005; 03:05 AM ET | Email a Comment

Update From County on Flu Shots

From today's Fairfax Extra: County health officials said that although they anticipate no shortage of flu vaccine this season, the supply is being delivered in partial orders -- meaning that on certain days, some clinics will be unable to give flu shots until the shots arrive. Kimberly Cordero, a spokeswoman for the department, said the supply has changed each day. On some days, there is plenty of vaccine, but on other days the supplies run out, she said. "We do not know when we will receive it," she said of the vaccine shipments. When additional vaccine is received, she said, the information will be posted at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/hd/flu , as well as on the department's flu information phone line, 703-246-8781, TTY 711. The Web site lists the Health Department's five district offices, where residents can schedule appointments. The fee is $25....

 

By | November 10, 2005; 02:58 PM ET | Email a Comment

Fears of Possible Flu Outbreak Fuel Fight Plan

Increasing concerns over a possible world-wide epidemic of avian flu have Virginia health officials working to create a plan on how to handle the disease, according to an article in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By | October 13, 2005; 12:51 PM ET | Email a Comment

Contracts Granted To Groups Aiding Katrina Evacuees

Three local nonprofit organizations have been granted contracts worth $276,400 from Fairfax County to aid the estimated 1,500  evacuees from hurricane Katrina believed to be sheltering here. The Fairfax Extra has the story....

 

By | October 13, 2005; 12:44 PM ET | Email a Comment

Inova to Dedicate Medical School Tonight

Tonight (Mon. Oct. 10), Inova will host a formal dedication of the Virginia Commonwealth University campus at Inova Fairfax Hospital and celebrate the groundbreaking of the Claude Moore Health Education Center, which will house the medical school....

 

By Steve Fehr | October 10, 2005; 05:40 PM ET | Email a Comment

 

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